NLC calls on the federal government to enact legislation to level the playing-field between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers by giving state and local governments the authority to collect sales taxes on remote sales.
NLC calls on the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) to hold a hearing on the Marketplace Fairness Act, H.R. 684, which allows states and local governments to require internet sellers to collect sales taxes owed today.
The Senate got it right when it passed legislation with an overwhelming bipartisan vote to reduce the burden and make it easier for law abiding people to pay the sales taxes they owe on their retail purchases, whether made over the internet or physically in a store. Now, it's time for the House to act.
How many boarded up businesses do we have to have before we recognize a problem? For how long can stores on main street survive as showrooms for internet sellers?
As sales over the internet continue to rise, which is good for the national economy, we need to level the playing field for small businesses in our hometowns that have always been the backbone of our economy. We know the success of America's small businesses is critical to growing our economy - main street retailers help create attractive and safe streets, and they put the t-shirts on our little league teams.
In recent years, Main Street retailers have become local showcases for remote purchases by customers who believe they get a discount by not paying sales tax. On the contrary, these consumers are required to pay the applicable sales tax for their online purchases. While the brick-and-mortar retailer collects the sales tax at the time of purchase in a store, right now the responsibility shifts to the internet customer who is supposed to pay the sales tax when filing their annual state tax returns. However, most taxpayers are not aware of this responsibility and state and localities do not have the resources to enforce payment. This puts main street retailers at a five to ten percent competitive price disadvantage to remote sellers. Congress should provide state and local governments the option to collect the sales tax already owed under current law.
Legislative Priority: End the Online Sales Tax 'Break'
One-page issue brief outlining NLC's legislative position on leveling the playing field for hometown retailers, key messages to Congress and the Administration.